Multicultural Organizational Development, Research Paper Example
Words: 2741Research Paper
Human service organizations incorporate vast disciplines, skills, and knowledge that offers human services focusing on advancing human well-being (Human Services Edu, 2022). Examples of human services include counseling and mental health, early childhood development, family and community, personal care, and consumer services. However, these organizations face organizational problems or challenges that affect the effectiveness of client services. During my internship experience at Guilford County Reentry Council, I encountered several challenges facing clients (incarcerated individuals) and my fellow employees.
However, the organization incorporates a reentry simulation to help incarcerated individuals to have a smooth re-entry into society. Reentry simulation teaches social work students to empathize with oppressed and vulnerable populations, especially the outliers in society (Vance & Rivers, 2020). During the reentry simulation training, students encountered experiences similar to those in real life. For example, deny access to birth identification, state identification, housing, employment, healthcare, food, family support, and mental health treatment. By doing this, students are required to try and access resources, follow court orders, maintain contact with the probation officer, and pay fines to avoid the risks of being incarcerated again (Vance & Rivers, 2020).
During my internship experience, it was a must to follow guidelines set by the sheriff’s office. This restriction affects everyone as we control what information is sent out to the public, what services we can and cannot provide, and who we can take in as clients. For example, the clients must be incarcerated at some point in time and are now residing in Guilford County. This monopolization affects the social worker’s ethical standard of informed consent. This standard gives the social workers a right to attend to their clients and offer informed services understandably. It also permits a social worker to explain to the client the risks, costs, and alternatives of their services. However, the sheriff’s office restricted us from discharging and disbursing information to help our clients violate the ethical standard for informed consent.
Secondly, if the client needs a letter stating they are homeless or a referral for another agency, we must first send what we would provide the client with to several individuals to approve it. The feedback could take weeks or even months due to staff shortages and an overload of new programs. These delays violated the ethical standard of commitment to the clients. The standard mandates the social worker’s responsibility to enhance the client’s welfare. In other words, the organization’s primary objective is to attend to the client’s interest.
The next problem is the negative effect brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic in 2020, we have seen a setback in logistics, communication, and efficacy delivery of services (National Association of Social worker, 2020). Social workers are in the frontline in disseminating accurate information from trusted sources and helping individuals and families survive in this era. The pandemic affects social workers, clients, and their families. For instance, it was not possible to mix with incarcerated individuals since the social workers had to observe Covid-19 protocols. Thus, making it hard to learn and be in their shoes. This problem restricts the ethical principle of the importance of recognizing human relationships.
The organization also faces the problem of scarcity of resources for helping the social workers deliver services to clients. Lack of resources impedes the discharge of services to clients, which is the organization’s primary goal. For example, the organization receives more clients with less human capital per year. The ratio of clients and social workers should be at least 1-to-5. However, this is not the case.
Consequently, the organization faced misappropriated access to services due to enforced policies. The sheriff’s office enforced policies so that the social worker close to clients could not attend to their clients. For example, it was impossible to meet the client’s demand even after writing since the sheriff is the only person to enforce the policies.
Another problem concerns women in prison. According to Pollack (2015), most incarcerated women are convicted of child physical abuse, sexual harassment, non-violence crime, drug addiction, battling relationship in their adult age. Women are relatively young, illiterate, marginalized in racial backgrounds, and economically disadvantaged. Pollack (2015) relates the cause of women’s crimes with their psychological and social factors. Thus, women do not make sound decisions, have no coping mechanism in the harsh environment, have low self-esteem, and they depend on drugs, men, and the state. However, the organization treated all clients equally without considering other underlying factors. Therefore, agency policies had a disproportionate and unfair negative impact on specific clients.
Another problem that arose is that some policies made it difficult for specific clients to access and use services in the organization. Transgender people can become clients but may be denied as potential employers due to their incarceration background and difference from western culture society viewpoints. It is also important to employ people who can identify with a population of clients we may encounter or conduct an intake. According to Shelton et al. (2019), transgender is inevitable.
Also, there was a lack of opportunities for career development and advancement within the agency among under-represented employees. This problem mostly affected social workers in the organization. The men are more than women in the company, about 80 percent of the workforce represented by men, while women represented only 20 percent. Thus, making it difficult for women to advance their career with the agency. For example, the department I was placed in included eight men and only two ladies. These statistics may discourage the young ladies in society because they believe that most organizations hire men over women.
The organization’s social work services lacked cultural relevance and humility. Social work must adhere to the globalization objective by observing universal opinions of social life applicable to all contexts and situations (Gray & Coates, 2016). According to Barrio (2000), services should be accountable, individualized, racially and culturally appropriate, empower clients, incorporate natural support, be normalized, flexible, effectively coordinated to ensure continuity care. Cultural relevance is a multidimensional and dynamic process that meets the geographical and linguistic needs of the minority group. For instance, some clients in the rehabilitation center are illiterate, forcing the social worker to adjust their communication. However, social workers lack specific individuals to attend to such groups, especially the elderly who have sight and hearing impairment in some cases.
Finally, another problem is culture’s disproportionate engagement of social work programs and services. For example, suppose someone came to our organization, identified with culture, and took on various cultural practices and languages. It could be challenging to assist them because of the lack of knowledge of diverse cultures. This problem could be adjusted by implementing positions that highlight diversity so that all populations that the agency encounters will have no hesitation in how to adjust to clients’ beliefs, values, and norms during scheduled appointments
First, the centralization of information existed due to a lack of staff awareness. For example, individuals handling clients in the field are different from the decision-makers in the organization. This situation brings a disconnect between the service providers and the clients.
The second problem of delayed response occurs due to Medicaid policies and unfair practices. The individuals sitting in the office follow organization policies blindly, and mostly they are rigid. For example, stringent policies create a culture of delay since the nature of the process covers individuals in power. If a process takes two weeks, the person in charge will not attend to clients because there is still time.
The pandemic problem is natural and unavoidable. Furthermore, the pandemic was a global disaster with external protocols. Social workers were prevented from seeing and engaging with their clients, which created a disconnect between them. For example, I observed workers losing the patients’ records, making it difficult to follow their cases. Finally, the clients who seemed responsive to the system could start afresh due to the disconnect with service providers. The program advocates physical engagement for effective outcomes.
The problem of few slots of women in the organization can be attached to the problem of inequities in more extensive systems or policies. The organization does not believe that women can work and make decisions in high positions. For instance, most women work in the lower job levels, where men hold the higher positions.
Finally, the problem of cultural relevance is due to discriminatory policies in the organization. Good policies create an organizational culture that prevents unethical practices. Intuitively, discrimination for minority groups by race or ethnicity is also due to discriminatory policies or lack of ethical culture that trains workers and clients to coexist with the differences.
The first solution recommends an anti-oppressive practice framework (AOP) to emphasize power issues and oppression of clients and the provision of social services (Pollack, 2015). This framework deindividualizes problems and helps the social workers to evaluate clients in their broader social context. The particularly substitutes the expert delivery services approach with the model that incorporates the client’s experiences (Pollack, 2015).
The AOP framework focuses on marginalized groups such as women in prison. It helps understand the women better and their mental health and effectively respond to their issues. It will also incorporate new environment experiences. Nevertheless, the framework stretches to incorporate approaches to evaluate other critical issues such as anti-racism. By deploying this policy, social workers will understand the nature of women and how to attend to their problems diligently. Since the framework requires women to participate in positions of decision making and supervisory, the outcome favors this group by training them how to be independent and make sound decisions.
Secondly, accountability is preferred rather than mastery of culture: Cultural humility instead of cultural competency (Maschi, 2016). Historically, social worker educators are known to use the approach of cultural competency to address cultural diversity. However, it does not account for longitudinal structural forces that reshape the opportunities and experiences of clients or individuals. On the other hand, cultural humility is dynamic and multidimensional since it accounts for cultural liquidity and challenges institutions and individuals to unfold inequalities and inequities (Fisher-Borne et al., 2014). This concept requires individuals to build relationships with their clients as they undergo self-criticism and self-reflection.
Notably, cultural competency is essential and works, but it works with the concept of humility. Humility concepts require social work educators and institutions to formulate questions that help in critical reflection and understanding the cultural diversity of the clients. By doing this, the service provider optimizes the needs of the client. A healthier relationship between the service provider and the clients positively impacts their way of life.
Finally, I would also recommend integrating the use of diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5). DSM-5 evaluates and determines the correct diagnosis before medical attention or treatment (Regier et al., 2013). By using this framework, social worker understands their clients deeply. Therefore, the social workers offer the proper attention the client needs and give the right advice to better their condition.
The plan requires a formal agency process to change and modify institution policies and procedures since it requires approval from the board of directors. For instance, the framework requires a radical change for gender balance ratio in the workforce. Such radical changes require a formal agency process and approval from the board of directors.
Secondly, for a collective change in the organization, the plan brings all relevant stakeholders on board: clients, community members, staff, managers or executives, board of directors, and funders. This collectiveness will help standardize the organization’s ethical issues from bottom to top hierarchical managerial.
Finally, my view on the role of social identities and power concerning the anticipated change in the organization is critical. As discussed early, the main reason to bring all relevant stakeholders on board is to recognize the role of social identities and power. Failure to incorporate these factors, you are planning to fail. Recognition of these factors helps in the reinforcing solution by monitoring and evaluation.
Barrio, C. (2000). The Cultural Relevance of Community Support Programs. Https://Doi.Org/10.1176/Appi.Ps.51.7.879, 51(7), 879–884. https://doi.org/10.1176/APPI.PS.51.7.879
Fisher-Borne, M., Cain, J. M., & Martin, S. L. (2014). From Mastery to Accountability: Cultural Humility as an Alternative to Cultural Competence. Http://Dx.Doi.Org/10.1080/02615479.2014.977244, 34(2), 165–181. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2014.977244
Gray, M., & Coates, J. (2016). From ‘indigenization’ to cultural relevance. Indigenous Social Work around the World: Towards Culturally Relevant Education and Practice, 13–29. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315588360-9/Indigenization-Cultural-Relevance-Mel-Gray-John-Coates
Human Services Edu. (2022). The Importance of Organizations to Human Services. Human Services Edu.Org. https://www.humanservicesedu.org/organizations/
Maschi, T. (2016). Applying a Human Rights Approach to Social Work Research and Evaluation. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-26036-5
National Association of Social worker. (2020). Coronavirus. NASW.
Pollack, S. (2015). Anti-oppressive Social Work Practice with Women in Prison: Discursive Reconstructions and Alternative Practices. British Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch085
Regier, D. A., Kuhl, E. A., & Kupfer, D. J. (2013). The DSM-5: Classification and criteria changes. World Psychiatry, 12(2), 92–98. https://doi.org/10.1002/WPS.20050
Shelton, J., Kroehle, K., & Andia, M. M. (2019). The Trans Person Is Not the Problem: Brave Spaces and Structural Competence as Educative Tools for Trans Justice in Social Work. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 46. https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/jrlsasw46&id=647&div=&collection=
Vance, M. M., & Rivers, M. (2020). Advancing a Human Rights Practice Approach in Field Education Settings with Justice-Involved Populations. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work 2020 6:1, 6(1), 54–58. https://doi.org/10.1007/S41134-020-00153-X
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